And we’re back with inquiring minds and I’ve got a fun question to answer today (and a couple more that I didn’t get to before my holiday for the next couple of weeks). As always, if you have a question for me, feel free to complete the survey here or at the bottom of the post.
Do you refresh older posts and if so do you set aside regular time to do so?Lynn Sheridan
This is such a great question and whether to refresh older posts is one lots of bloggers have to ask themselves as their blogs get older and they start looking back at some of those older posts and realise they’ve changed their minds, they’ve changed their writing style or format, or they just plain hate what they used to write. Also, a lot of advice sites about blogs tell you that you should update older content and not just have stuff sitting stagnant in the background of your site unseen and unread.
Personally I have a couple of different answers to this as I’ve been changing my approach around over the last twelve months (mostly my third year of blogging as prior to that updating old stuff didn’t seem that urgent given nothing was all that old).
For a little bit I was reposting some of my old anime series reviews. Things like Shiki that were reviewed in my first few months of blogging that had practically no views, used various layouts I’ve since retired on my blog, and basically just needed more exposure. However, my original approach was to actually duplicate post and make a new post with a heading explaining it was a repost with some updates.
The problem I found with this approach is that some people had originally commented on the first review and their comments were essentially lost back with the first post, plus when searching my site for a review it was now unclear which review to read of the same series.
Plus, it meant the only posts getting any kind of update were full series reviews and I write a lot of other content.
I actually stumbled upon my current approach while trying to figure out how to use my twitter account more effectively and following a few steps in a guide I found just to see what happened. My regular followers may have noticed that in November last year I suddenly started having five tweets spread throughout the day promoting content on the site. These were tweets that were pre-scheduled and were to ensure that regardless of timezone something was coming out on my feed fairly regularly. And the experiment continued more or less until my trip in April and you may have noticed my twitter is currently a lot quieter just at the moment (but so are my views, amazingly this actually works at boosting exposure).
However, in the process of setting that up, I realised I didn’t really want the tweets to all be about the same content, and content coming out was already automatically announced on twitter, so I started looking at older posts that either had gotten a lot of attention or had been over-looked at the time of posting to promote on twitter. The standard approach was to pick a month and go through the archives and look at the posts and how they’d gone and what content was there that might still be relevant or interesting, or that I didn’t just want to keep hidden.
But, there’s no point trying to repromote a post that is still using an old signature or isn’t linking to newer content and then just reading some of my old posts made me wince. So before I schedule the tweet for a post, I revamp it. Sometimes it is just a formatting tweak, sometimes entire sections get rewritten. And then, once I’m reasonably happy, I promote the link to it.
As to a regular time, I was spending about two hours on either Sunday or Saturday selecting the older posts that I was going to promote next and then I’d chip away at editing them in small moments in between newer posts and the like throughout the week before setting them for promotion in the next week or so. It wasn’t an exact schedule as such but it was just something else to work on as part of growing the blog and so I made sure I gave it a little bit of my time each day.
That said, I’d love to know what other bloggers are doing in terms of refreshing older posts so please share your tips and strategies below.
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